Simulated Mission in Chilean Desert Shows How a Rover Could Detect Life on Mars

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By using the barren Atacama Desert in Chile as a stand-in for Mars, researchers have shown that it’s possible to use an autonomous rover-mounted drill to detect life beneath a desolate surface. Encouragingly, the test resulted in the discovery of a resilient microorganism—exactly the kind of creature that could lurk…

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https://gizmodo.com/simulated-mission-in-chilean-desert-shows-how-a-rover-c-1832928361

Fake FCC Comments, Shark DNA, and the Edge of Everything: Best Gizmodo Stories of the Week

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Hopefully your week has been better than leading New York politicians, like NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew “Amazon” Cuomo—both of whom are still dealing with the disastrous fallout from the failed deal to subsidize a new Amazon facility in Queens’s Long Island City neighborhood. (Adding insult to injury:…

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https://gizmodo.com/fake-fcc-comments-shark-dna-and-the-edge-of-everythin-1832858113

Apollo Astronauts May Have Brought a Piece of Ancient Earth Back From the Moon

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A re-analysis of lunar materials collected during the Apollo 14 mission has resulted in a rather astonishing conclusion: One of the rocks brought back appears to contain a small chunk of Earth dating back some 4 billion years. Incredibly, it’s now amongst the oldest terrestrial rocks known to exist.

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https://gizmodo.com/apollo-astronauts-may-have-brought-a-piece-of-ancient-e-1832055011

The Frequency of Asteroid Impacts Jumped Just Before the Dinosaur Age, New Research Suggests  

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By comparing the age of impact craters on the Moon to those on Earth, researchers say they have discovered a surge in the rate of asteroid strikes starting around 290 million years ago—a finding that runs contrary to scientific convention. And indeed, not everyone is convinced by the evidence.

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https://gizmodo.com/the-frequency-of-asteroid-impacts-increased-just-before-1831839017

The Fossils of the 21st Century

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In 100 million years, human civilization will have bit the dust. Perhaps a nuclear war scorched the planet, or a last-ditch bid to solve climate change backfired horribly. Or, more optimistically, we overcame the myriad challenges of the 21st century, took to the stars and evolved into new species on alien worlds.…

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https://earther.gizmodo.com/the-fossils-of-the-21st-century-1830693850

Geologists Joke About ‘Sea Monster’ After Mysterious 30-Minute Rumble Emanates from Waters Near Madagascar

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Between Mozambique and Madagascar lies the island of Mayotte. Since May 10, the French Geological Survey has been keeping an eye on a collection of earthquakes taking place just off the island’s eastern shores, which peaked with a magnitude 5.8 shake. This swarm was curious enough all by itself—and then, on November…

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https://gizmodo.com/geologists-joke-about-sea-monster-after-mysterious-30-m-1830738921